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As many of you know Cyber PR® is a hybrid of Internet Marketing, Social Media and PR. I am an avid Internet Marketing student and I gather the nuggets I learn from my studies for musicians.

For many years, I’ve attended internet marketing retreats and seminars; a favorite of mine was a two-day intensive course run by the incredible marketer, Ali Brown.

The course was a whirlwind, and the core principles I learned were both basic and critically important.

There are three ways to increase your income:

1. Increase your number of clients (fans).

2. Increase the frequency of purchase, how often your fans buy from you. (and you’d better have more than just music to sell).

3. Increase the amount of money that you charge.

Okay, none of these three things are brain surgery, but from a musician’s perspective, it brings up some interesting points.   In my last article about Internet marketing, I point out that music sold online cannot be treated like a diet product. So, marketing music from a straight-up traditional Internet marketing approach is, in my opinion, not entirely possible. The reason why this is: Products that sell very well online tend to solve people’s problems.  (Like Losing weight or making more money). I am captivated by how musicians can use some of these basic principles, to increase their own bottom line in the digital space. I’m going to break each one of the three principles down from a musician’s perspective, and my next three posts here will focus on each one.

This blog post will focus on #1.

So How Do You Increase your number of clients (fans)?

I am always shocked when musicians I work for at Cyber PR®, are desperate to reach more and more potential fans without really focusing on the fans that they already have. These fans don’t need to be found, because they are already your fans.

Studies have proven that it is much harder to make a new client and get them to purchase something than it is to get a client that already knows you and trusts you to purchase from you over and over.

I always suggest that, in measuring fans, the best place to look is at your social networks and at your mailing list.

Your newsletter list is the only place where you can directly engage with your fans on your own terms.

Not Facebook’s terms, and not Twitter’s terms.

10 Fail-Safe Ways to Increase/ Engage With Your Fan base

Here are 10 fail-safe ways to increase / engage with your fanbase by pulling from fans that you already know and have who trust and like you!

1. Get serious about your newsletter.

Use Fanbridge.com or ReverbNation.com and send your newsletter one time per month.  Track your effectiveness by monitoring your open rates.

2. Mine your inbox and outbox for names and addresses to add.

Ask all of your friends if it’s OK to add them to your list, otherwise you might be considered a spammer.

3. Bring a clipboard to each and every live appearance.

Invite people onto your mailing list with a raffle or giveaway from stage, and collect e-mail addresses.  During your performance, hold the CD up on stage and than give it away, you’ve just inserted a full commercial into your set without feeling “salesy” and you’ve excited one of your fans by giving them a gift.

4. Include a special offer on your home page with a free exclusive MP3 or video.

Use the Reverbnation Fan Collector or Free Download widgets to deliver it.

TIP: Make sure this download is not available anywhere.  Not streaming on your Facebook page.  Only on your website.

And of course it can also be available for purchase on your CD, but make sure that no one can get it anywhere else online. This will motivate people to sign up to your mailing list!

5. Follow 25 new people a week on Twitter.

6. Send out e-mails to your most engaged fans on Facebook and ask if you can have their e-mail addresses for your newsletter.  This is a bit arduous but the results will pay off.

7. Do the same with Twitter.

8. Start a blog and start sharing photos and stories and thoughts.

Note: you can also use Instagram to take pictures from your iPhone or Android phone, which can then be shared through Facebook and Twitter.

9. Start a podcast or a vodcast and interview other artists with big followings.  Ask them to share your podcast with their fans and followers.  It doesn’t have to be a big production.  It can be a small, informal video at YouTube.  Click here to see mine.   http://www.youtube.com/arielpublicity

10. Ask your fans to review your music at CD Baby, iTunes, and Amazon.

How Do You Build Your Fan Base?

My next blog post will attack principle number two, increasing the frequency of purchase. In the meantime, I would love to hear how you build your fan base in the form of a comment below

Category: Sound Advice

  • http://membershipschool.com Will

    Building a list and following up with offers are crucial. I prefer to use a general email service like getresponse.com rather than a band-focused email service. You can also offer your list products that you don’t make, using affilate offers of products you like. These emails can be autoloaded so they get sent out on a regular basis automatically.

    Since selling mp3s has fairly low value these days, you have to find things of higher value to sell. Most musicians focus on selling their cds or merchandise but there are many spinoffs or things you may know about that you could charge for.

    The ‘Ali Brown’s’ of the world are charging thousands of dollars for 10 cd sets and seminars. They repurpose their content in various formats of higher perceived value. So we can try to replicate this by selling ‘home study courses’ for songwriting, singing lesson, guitar lessons, or anything else you have expertise in.

    I see musicians traditionally working at music stores, gigging and playing guitar on the street and it makes me sad that most won’t be able to support their music careers.

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  • http://www.jamijackson.net Jami Jackson

    This is a great article! I think that we defintiely should utilize the social sites to ask for email addresses. This is the best way to grow a list.

  • http://www.bewaretheleopard.com Alex

    Awesome advice. As an independent artist trying to build a following and career, this type of advice is incredibly helpful. Keep it up!

  • http://www.gorillamusic.com Gorilla Liz

    These are great examples that go great with the grass-roots promotions approach we teach the bands in our artist development program. Thanks for all the new internet marketing tips!

  • http://networkordie.com/?p=55 » Blog Archive » Blogroll Updates

    [...] For Artists”.  Apparently, it is slated to be a 3 part series.  The first is titled “INCREASE YOUR FAN BASE“.  I would suggest reading anything and everything that this lady puts into [...]

  • http://www.allyssajones.com Allyssa

    Thanks for this, Ariel! What I appreciate most is your recommendation to have everything linking back to my official site. My practice has been to send my newsletter to my subscribers, then send or post it in full on my Facebook music page, MySpace and other places. Really, what I need to do is use the social networking sites as gateways- not alternatives- to my official site. I heard the same message in terms of CD and merch sales at a marketing session I attended ASCAP Expo last month. I’m sure I’m not the only artist who is looking to focus their marketing efforts, to work smarter instead of flailing around internet.

    Thanks also for the tips on using Twitter following and ReverbNation widgets more effectively. Looking forward to trying those!

    To Will- I agree with your thoughts about increasing value by expanding one’s “products” beyond mp3′s. In addition, I have found that my biggest activity/subscriber spikes happen when I’ve participated in a cause or other event where I haven’t been focused on selling myself. Too often we focus on hustle for hustle’s sake and forget that music is at its best about creating community. Communities tend to develop lives of their own that feed the artists they grew around.

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  • http://myspace.com/kleerstreementertainment KSE

    Ariel has always published some of the best ‘free’ advice on the Internet.

    We are advocates of making fan based building one of the highest priorities an artist has. In, Texas, the first thing a venue owner/booking agent will ask you is: “How many fans will come to see you, if we book you?” If you give them a number that is not real, I can assure you, you will not get a second chance, unless you guarantee them the difference out of your pocket.

    What kind of fans do you need? WE call them TBF (True Blue Fans), which means, they support you in ALL that you do, including coming to your shows and buying your merch. They are your street team workers in each city; they are your advocates, wherever they go & to whomever they meet; they are your ‘wheels’ that keep your career moving forward; they show up at your shows with new fans.

    As an artist you acknowledge them each and every day; you provide them with free tickets; you provide them with backstage access from time to time; you make a ‘special’ section on your website, only accessible to them. Most artist have no ideal of how much work they should be doing. And, you can find out a lot about artist by just follow them on their social networks sites & I mean: How dedicated they really are, then they wonder why the world is not knocking on their door each day & buy their M&M’s (music & merchandise).

    Music Success is a long & never ending road. An artist has to keep moving down or up that road, each day, or they will get run over.

    Ariel’s approach and her programs can help any artist, plus, they are priced for just about any budget. If they are not affordable, then I would suggest an artist get enough side work to afford them.

    –end

  • http://myspace.com/kleerstreementertainment KSE

    Lowering the price can make money, provided the demand is there.

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  • Melody Gross

    These are great tips. Some I’ve shared with my own clients.

  • http://www.teenjazz.com/ Shannon Kennedy

    These are all really great tips.  I’ve already put a lot of them into practice, but I think my twitter might need more attention than I’ve been giving it. I look forward to reading parts 2 and 3.

  • http://www.facebook.com/karen.davis.10485 Karen Davis

    Very simple but helpful advice – especially the ‘clipboard to every appearance’ thing. We’ve forgotten it several times, and not having it is a great way to lose fans. As of now, the clip board goes into the gig case, with my gig guitar and does not come out except at shows and then at home to add email addresses. Thanks for the reminder. Following people on twitter is also a great way to connect with other musicians and fans. Doing that right after I put the clipboard in the gig case.